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Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Spiritual Fitness Check-up for the 50-something Woman

Sharon V. King, PhD
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” 1 Corinthians 13:12 

Can you read the letters on that chart?

 “In a word, doctor, ‘No!’ I can’t see those tiny letters—who could?” I often get frustrated during eye exams. I have astigmatism and a fairly strong lens prescription. Why on earth would someone give me a chart with teeny letters and ask me to read them? Is the goal to prove that I still need glasses?  Everyone who has had a lens prescription upgraded in the past five years, please raise your hand. Among the many midlife adjustments we have to make, we may find ourselves fitted for a set of bifocals long before we thought we were old enough for them.

For midlife folks who grew up before the computer age, we had no way of knowing that one day much of our existence—from the work we do to the Christmas gifts we buy—would be governed by our ability to read small letters on a computer screen.  We live in an era when accurate vision is essential to accessing even the most basic information. It’s quite a challenge!

You may be familiar with the saying, “What you see is what you get.” We all know (or have known) people to whom that statement does not apply. What you see in some people can be far more or far less than what you get. Consider your high school classmates—“those most likely to succeed” and other “most likely to” groups. Some did not live up to their potential, while others may have exceeded expectations. At that stage of life, we were quick to judge others by their outward appearances or personalities. For some of us, that tendency to judge people’s “books” by their covers has followed us into later life.

What about your assessment of God? Has your view of Him changed through the years? Unfortunately, we sometimes apply our high school values to our relationship with the Lord. If He gives us what we want, we keep Him on our “most popular people” list. Not all the life charts God hands us have nice, big easy-to-read letters. By midlife, we have encountered a lot of “fine print” which seems to make absolutely no sense. When the message is difficult to see, God can provide illumination through His word to help us draw closer to Him.

Spiritual Pulse Check

        Here’s an opportunity to conduct your own spiritual vision test:

·         Identify three differences in the way you view your spiritual life now, compared to an earlier stage of your life.
·         What three people have most influenced your spiritual life (for better or worse)?
·         How would you “rate” yourself as a witness for Christ? Very effective? Somewhat effective? Ineffective? Give reasons for your rating.
·         How do you think God would describe you?

About the author:

Sharon is a retired gerontology professor turned author of self-help
devotional books for 50+ women. A native of Pennsylvania and now a
resident of Georgia (Go Braves!), Sharon has published several
inspirational ezine articles, Christian Education curricula, and
academic journal articles about religion and aging. Sharon's first
book, The Spiritual Fitness Check-up for the 50-something Woman, is
available on Amazon and at Her second
book, Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Pslam, is under contract with
Anaiah Press ( for publication in 2015. Connect
with Sharon on Facebook, Twitter, and on her

Good Morning! - God's Pain

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Guest Writer: Grace Potts
And he (Abram) believed God, and He credited it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15: 6

How much credit do we get?

Abram was a giant of faith, prominent in the honor roll of Hebrews 11. God commended him for his belief; he honored God with his trust.

And how much credit do we get? The big one, for sure, if we believe that God Himself died in our place so we could be forgiven. Eternal life has already begun for us, if we accept His sacrifice.
But we still have to get through this joyful, broken, impossible life.

Do we believe the promises He gives for the journey? When we feel alone, do we trust our feelings, or do we believe, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” When our heavy loads threaten to overwhelm us, do we believe, “My yoke is easy, and My burden light.”? When we stumble over temptations, do we believe, “But the LORD is faithful, and will make a way of escape.”?

Wandering in the wilderness

When we wander in the wilderness of what-if’s and how-can-I’s, do we believe He will always make a way where there seems to be no way? When the journey seems too long and we lose sight of our destination, do we believe, “I am preparing a place for you, and I’m coming soon to take you home.”?

Day to day practical faith is hard to maintain. Even Abram, champion of faith, faltered and trusted instead in his own strength and wisdom. But our God is a God of forgiveness. Like Abram, we must turn again to our Shepherd. We must let Him lift us up and set us back on our feet to follow Him.

Cast your cares on Him, the One who has never broken a promise.

Father, I believe; please help my unbelief. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

About the author:

A country girl who could never feel at home without elbow room, fresh air, trees and animals, good neighbors and family nearby, stories to tell, books to read, and lots of solitude. (And no, they don’t all fit together.) My ancestors hailed from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I’m a Southerner born and bred, and adopted by the King of Parables—so it’s no surprise that I’ve told myself stories as long as I can remember. I live on a real piece of land with ten chickens, two dogs and a dat, (A dat is a dog that acts like a cat) and an amazing husband my Heavenly Father chose for me.

Good Morning! - Forgetting the Past


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